Earlier this month, Basi the panda sadly passed away in her home at the Straits Giant Panda Research and Exchange center which is situated in the Chinese province of Fuzhou.
In July, Basi broke the World Record for becoming the oldest panda in captivity at the grand old age of 37, which is the equivalent of over 100 human years! To put this in perspective, research has shown that pandas only tend to live to around 20 years in the wild.
Reaching almost double the age of a wild panda is not the only reason she was special. At the age of around 4, she was rescued after falling in a river, and this is when her time at the Straits Panda Center began. She was known for being able to do some rather athletic activities such as dunking a ball in a basketball hoop and twirl a baton in her paws which led to her becoming the inspiration for the mascot Asian games in 1990.
She also had groundbreaking surgery for her cataracts, a treatment which had never before been performed on a panda.
More recently she had become very lethargic and couldn’t move easily on her own, but her keepers doted on her to make her as comfortable and healthy as possible. When she sadly passed away, the director of the panda center delivered a eulogy in which Basi was described as “legendary”. Her incredible life will certainly always be remembered by panda lovers all over the world.